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International Women in Engineering Day 2021: Making Space for All



Date & Time

Thursday 24 Jun 2021 16:00 - Thursday 24 Jun 2021 17:30


Open to all students age 13 to 17 years old

Graphic: Marylène Strub




Making Space for All

Want to work for the ESA or NASA? Find life on another planet? Build the next-generation supersonic aircraft?

Then this is for you!

The Department of Engineering Science's Women in Engineering Committee is organizing a mini-conference open to all students age 13 to 17 years old.

This online event will take place on Thursday June 24th from 4 pm to 5.30 pm.

During this conference, five engineers and researchers will talk about their exciting work. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions live during the event.

Female and minority students are particularly encouraged to apply.

Speaker details

Dr Chiara Falsetti, Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Oxford Thermofluids Institute

Chiara received undergraduate and master's degrees in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Brescia, Italy, where she started being interested in multi-phase flows and heat transfer. Those two topics were the core of her PhD research, at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland. In fact, her PhD research focused on developing a cooling system for micro-electronics using evaporative flows. What does an aircraft engine have in common with a micro-chip? Their development is hampered by finding novel and smarter ways to remove heat! Chiara's research at the Oxford Thermofluids Institute aims at developing more efficient thermal management systems for aircraft engines.

Dr Katy Clough, Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Beecroft Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology

Katy’s research focuses on numerical solutions to Einstein’s theory of gravity - general relativity - in cosmological and astrophysical contexts. The Einstein equations govern the evolution of matter and energy on cosmological scales, and in systems where there are strong gravitational effects, such as around black holes. Her main interests are using black holes as a probe of dark matter and investigating inhomogeneity in the early Universe.

Dr Kate Fox, Manager of Material Engineering team, Rolls-Royce

Kate Fox is a manager of a team of Materials Engineers at Rolls-Royce who control and maintain material condition for components from ‘cradle to grave’ in the life of an airplane’s jet engine. This includes supporting raw material supply, new product introduction, failure investigation and life extensions and research. Kate studied Maths, Physics and Chemistry A levels and obtained her first degree in Materials Science and Technology at Birmingham University. She continued to study for a PhD investigating Titanium Metal Matrix Composites which are targeted at components which need high strength and low density such as those used in aerospace.

Provence Barnouin, PhD Candidate, Oxford Thermofluids Institute (conference mediator)

During flight, jet engines are exposed to extremely high temperatures, above the materials’ melting temperature. Why do jet engine components not melt? Thanks to the cooling air provided by seals! Seals regulate how much cooling air reaches engine components. If too little cooling air is provided, engine components will melt. If too much air is supplied, the engine will not be efficient. Provence’s PhD research focuses on developing better sealing technologies in jet engines. With better seals, less air will be required to cool the hot section components, and so, jet propulsion will run more efficiently at higher thrust! Provence obtained a double bachelor's degree in applied and Russian mathematics from Columbia University in the USA and a Masters in propulsion from Cambridge University.

Dr Tamara Sopek, Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the Hypersonics Group, Oxford Thermofluids Institute

Tamara works as a research scientist in hypersonics, which is the study of very fast and highly energetic flows encountered by space vehicles, planetary probes and special types of air-breathing engines called scramjets. Tamara's expertise lies in hypersonic ground-testing in high-speed facilities where she uses advanced optical measurement techniques, primarily laser diagnostics, to measure flow properties and thus study aerothermodynamics phenomena. Tamara's career in aerosciences started at the University of Zagreb, Croatia, where she graduated with a Master of Aeronautical Engineering. After that she completed a Research Master (MSc) at the von Karman Institute (VKI) for Fluid Dynamics in Belgium, where she first started with hypersonic research and decided that is what she wanted to do in life. She then moved to Australia where she did a PhD at the Centre for Hypersonics at the University of Queensland.

Dr Sarah Rugheimer Glasstone Research Fellow and Hugh Price Fellow, Department of Physics

Dr Sarah Rugheimer is an astrophysicist at Oxford University, working on how to detect life on an exoplanet by looking for atmospheric biosignatures. She is interested in anything related to the field of Astrobiology: the study of the origin of life on Earth and the pursuit of detecting life on other planets/moons in the Universe. She earned her Ph.D. at Harvard in Astrophysics and has held research fellowships at the University of St. Andrews and Oxford.

In 2020 she was selected as a TED Fellow and her TED talk, “Searching for Microscopic Aliens” is now on

About the event

The event will be hosted on an online platform and will have a limited number of spaces available. Spaces will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis and joining instructions will be sent to all successful attendees a few days prior to the event taking place. Participants will need to have their parents/guardians’ permission to take part, and full safeguarding procedures will be followed during the event. If you have any questions about this event or would like to find out more about Engineering Science at Oxford, please email Libby McGowan at

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